Not Martha

it’s 10 a.m. and I’m making stew

This week I have to make sure I’m around to receive something COD arriving via UPS. (I know, COD? What is that?) So I decided that while I’m stuck here all day I might as well cook something in the crock pot. I looked up a few stew recipes and they were not at all what I remember my dad making when I was a kid. The recipes I looked at called for browning the meat and sauteeing some onions and adding a bunch of spices. My dad would throw some peeled but not chopped onions, meat, water, a little bit of a flavoring paste (like this one but made locally and fantastically delicious, it’s on my Cleveland shopping list) in the crock pot, set it to low, and go off to work. He would have some whole carrots, potatoes and roughly chopped celery that I would stick into the pot when I’d get home from school and turn the crock pot to high. By the time parental units were home from work dinner was ready, and it was delicious. I remember loving how the onions would spill out smaller and smaller onion layers when you squeezed them with a fork. Every once in a while he would quarter a large turnip and cook it with the meat all day and try to convince the family it was potato. After being cooked all that time it wasn’t bad, but we weren’t fooled.

So I decided to see if I could make direction-less stew on my own. I peeled some pearl onions this morning and tossed them into my crock pot with some beef labeled “stew meat” from the store. I have carrots, celery and fingerling potatoes to add later. I also mixed together the makings for some no-knead bread last night before I went to bed. I’m really looking forward to dinner.

· comments [19] · 11-14-2007 · categories:food ·

cute post-it notes

I’ve been lazily looking for Post-it notes I don’t hate and usually end up walking away from the horrible colors I find in office supply stores. There is nothing wrong with the traditional pale yellow but I’ve started to hang post-it notes from the edge of the shelf over my desk and really hoped to find some styles that worked well in my office. Look what I found at Target the other day:

Cute no? And I spotted some might-be-cute notes on the 3M site as well.

Oh gosh I hope a new era of not terrible Post-it notes is coming.

· comments [17] · 11-14-2007 · categories:shopping ·

I’m knitting another sweater: second sleeve

the sweater: Ribby Cardi
the yarn: Cotton Ease in Stone
the previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4

I’ve started on my second sleeve and I can see the end in sight. After this all I need to do is seam the sleeves to the body, pull a needle through all the live collar stitches and knit up six inches, line the center front with applied i-cord and insert a zipper! That’s a lot of work but I’m pretending it’s not for the sake of being cheerful!

· comments [4] · 11-13-2007 · categories:knitting ·


What furniture should I use to mount my flatscreen? at AT.

We were denied the two player Cthulhu game but we get a Holmes-Cthulhu crossover?

77 Resources to Simplify Your Life as a Web Designer via Swiss Miss, I think

Free blank WordPress themes!

Laurel’s TV Picks via Kottke

30+ Places to Buy and Sell Domains via Swiss Miss

Can you recommend a hosting company for swissmiss?

Web Style Guide via Swiss Miss

Pillar photo on Flickr, ba ha ha!

Crusher on Swiss Miss

USB keyboard vaccuum at Product Dose

At Apartment Therapy: Tech

How to: Buy the Right TV For Your Space

How To…Ask the Right Questions When Buying a New TV

Swivel TV Stand

When to Buy Gadgets

TakaraTomy Tiny Dancing Turtles

Cell Phone Only, or Keep the Landline, Too?

Gamercize – Gamer Gut Be Gone!

Speaker Shelf Combination

A New Trend? Paparazzi to Document Your Life

· comments [3] · 11-13-2007 · categories:technology ·

up to

a good under eye concealer
I’m wondering about Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage, maybe Benefit’s Boi-ing. I know I know, nobody has found the perfect under eye concealer yet but that can’t stop a girl from trying.

kitchen scale
I want to use it for baking as well as buying postage online and avoiding those inevitable Post Offices lines (and broken automatic postal machines).

seriously considering:
Hairdo extension
One of the reasons I’m upset about my recent way-too-short haircut is that I have a fancy dress event to attend in January and I was really looking forward to being able to do something with my hair. So, yeah, I’m seriously considering buying some fake hair for the night. And yeah, it’s Jessica Simpson-approved fake hair. So, yeah.

Bumble & Bumble Curl Conscious
As long as I’m growing out my hair I might as well play with it. Bumble & Bumble’s Curl Conscious has been recommended by a few people, and I’m starting with the travel sized set for loose waves.

Did you know it’s pronounced keen-wah? Did you know it’s a very old grain, it’s full of protein and it’s really really good for you? Quinoa keeps coming across my radar and I give, I’ll learn how to cook it already.

· comments [74] · 11-12-2007 · categories:up to ·

links: the home

Eva Solo Magnetic Kitchen Timer, looks so nice, at Popgadget

Neato Piegato Fold Out Steel Shelving at AT:Home Tech

How is the Kone Hand Vac by Karim Rashid really? at AT:Home Tech

How to improve our efforts to winterize our drafty, old apartment? at Ask Metafilter

It’s easy being green at Home By Sunset

DIY Stop Junkmail

Delia’s hat and coat rack at Ikea Hacker

Jar opener at Cool Tools, looks better than my thwack it with the non-sharp side of a knife technique

Swiss Miss on Ecolect a sustainable materials community

LED Balloon Lamps at AT

Glansa Lysa from Ikea via AT. I cannot tell if this is always plugged in or if that is a recharging base – anybody?

Vinyl decal round up at Unclutterer

DIY Wednesdays: refrigerator facelift at Design*Sponge

Foliage Lamp at Better Living Through Design

Tiger Taco at Uncrate. It may look simple/silly but I would have loved to have these durning the last few years when we moved four times.

Where Can I Find a Soundproofing Kit? at AT.

Product that will kill bedbug eggs? at Ask Metafilter

Knicks Cable Holder at AT:Home Tech.

Painting those narrow Ikea shoe storage boxes at Ikea Hacker

· comments [8] · 11-9-2007 · categories:the home ·

links: beauty and shopping

Unclutterer on Mint money management

Tiny Choices is my new-to-me favorite

Apartment Therapy on Lori Nix. I went to a show Lori Nix had way back in 2000 in Cleveland, boy do I wish I’d bought one of her pieces then.

Quart Quartet Can at The Small Object is lovely

A guy at Unclutterer dares to write about how big some womens handbags are and gets duly and kindly slapped down by the majority of commenters.

Popgadget on a little hair growth reduction gadget that seems like it’s just for legs. The no!no! is $250, worth it?

Domicile on Munro’s Books, for when we take a trip to Victoria.

at Ask Metafilter:

Emergency supplies, and long term fuel/water storage

How do I look relaxed and happy in photographs?

What is it called when the sarcasm is actually masking sincerity?

How do I learn to be photogenic?

I have fine, flat hair, and want awesome big hair.

Where, oh where, can I find a garter belt without frippery?

How bad does it hurt to get your legs waxed?

Help a girl get cleavage!

· comments [3] · 11-8-2007 · categories:beauty · shopping ·

one happy thing, one unhappy thing

Happy: I was sorting through my closet and found this stack of sweaters I’d nearly forgotten about. Some of these are wool and left over from the winters in Cleveland where I was willing to put up with the scratchiness to get some of the warmth (I love the look of wool, for the record). The two red and pink striped ones were found on the same trip to Goodwill where I also found a pink and red striped poncho, it was a pink and red striped day. I’ve washed/dryed felted some of these but have not done anything with the felt yet. Some of these are chunky cotton/acrylic blend sweaters I’m loathe to get rid of because they aren’t itchy, but I’d rather these were cardigans and suspend the belief that some day I will unravel and recycle the yarn.

Unhappy: I got my hair cut yesterday and it’s a good two inches too short. It’ll take me months to grow out. I’m distraught over this and am currently drowning my sorrows in some Vintner’s Gin. To anybody who has ever had to spend months growing out bad hair cuts again and again, this cocktail glass is raised to you.

· comments [25] · 11-8-2007 · categories:mumbling ·

links: food

How to make clear ice cubes via kottke

Champagne cocktail taste test at Shelterrific

Homemade bread challenge at Brownie Points

Inside out martini glass at Better Living Through Design

You can now buy those Egg Pants! at AT:The Kitchen

Pretty Cube Jigger at Da*xiang

Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine Recipe Index — once upon a time I started a database just like this.

Honey-Nut-Vanilla Granola at Hogwash

Dough-nu-matic makes mini doughnuts at Popgadget

Sticky Pig Candy Stripes at Delicious Days

Cookies of the Dead at Miss Ginsu

The Bacon-Flavored American Dream, the story behind that Bacon Salt stuff, at The Stranger

Caramelized brown butter rice krispie treats, recipe from the NYTimes, and a warning about adding chocolate at Smitten Kitchen. I made these and oh my gosh they are yummy, but I suggest you cut them before they’ve fully cooled. There is more butter and less marshmallow and every time we cut into them they do this spectacular crumbling/shooting across the counter to land on the floor combo.

I am researching the best way to accomplish this task: make life-sized, edible, realistic replicas of a razor blade, suitable to bring to a Halloween party next year. What sort of candy medium would work bestl? at Ask Metafilter

Pan de Muertos (Day of the Dead Bread) at Chow

What Is Pink Lemonade? at Chow. My mom insists real pink lemonade is made using a sour tasting berry.

Ginning Up the Gin Market Is the gin renaissance a false phenomenon? at Chow

· comments [7] · 11-7-2007 · categories:drink · food ·

I’m knitting another sweater: progress report

the sweater: Ribby Cardi
the yarn: Cotton Ease in Stone
the previous entries: 1, 2, 3

I’ve finished the all-in-one-piece body of my second Ribby Cardi and I’ve begun a sleeve. I’m knitting the sleeves in the round on two circulars, which is definitely taking more time than knitting them flat but I’m looking forward to not having to seam it. [Read more →]

· comments [8] · 11-6-2007 · categories:knitting ·

links: craft

Aprons have been hurtling themselves in to my radar lately. Domicile just finished this lovely reversible apron, Amy’s just updated Tie One On with the Local Pride themed aprons and Craft is currently running an apron contest for Prairie Girl themed aprons — you’ve still got a week to enter.

Does anyone have experience with laser cutting, or using a laser cutting service? at Ludandy

Why you should find yourself a vintage Dritz bound buttonhole tool, at The Secret Pocket

What are some food safe metals? at Ask Metafilter

Hex Open Bag Frame tutorial (aka) Knitting & Craft Tote bag Tutorial at U-handblog

Where to buy dress forms at Fashion-Incubator, via Action Hero

Madonna/Whore Leather Chest Box at The PseudoShrink

help! i’m looking for a lightweight sewing machine at Shelterrific

Tutorial links at Thimble

30 Days of Gifts to Sew at How About Orange

Cadavre exquis/ Game of consequences necklace to file for Halloween next year. Via Craft


Yellow Submarine Doll

non-slip your slippers

how to make plastic posies

tissue box tutorial

Recycling Mint Tins into Gift Tin Boxes

Studio Tour with Lotta Jansdotter

leafy mobile

bitty boo felted ghost lollipop covers

tubular cast on

Creative Commons Licensing

· comments [8] · 11-6-2007 · categories:craft ·

up to

Flip video recorder
This little thing is super easy to use, the results are fantastic and it downloads video to your computer via a built in USB connector. The videos are already in Quicktime format ready to be watched or loaded to YouTube. It’s brilliant, it’s like the benevolent web gods have smiled upon us, it’s like somebody loves you. It also comes in colors like orange and pink. Ok, I think I need to calm down a little bit.

roasted chicken from Gluten-Free Girl
I’ve roasted chicken by stuffing a lemon in the cavity before, but this recipe was divine. Next I’m making the Roasted Cauliflower with Smoked Paprika and Cocoa Powder. Oh yum.

on a Sigg water bottle
The little handle thing is just too convenient.

Pomaire Yarn by Araucania
Pima cotton, hand painted. I’m very curious to touch this. Thanks for the note about it Heather!

Stumptown Coffee
Holler Mountain Blend, so satisfying.

· comments [11] · 11-5-2007 · categories:up to ·